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Robert James "Roy" Crawford CNZM was a university administrator and mechanical engineering academic, whose primary research interest has been in the mechanical properties and processing behaviour of plastics. From 1989 to 1999 he was Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the School of Mechanical and Process Engineering at the Queens University Belfast in Northern Ireland. He was also responsible for establishing the Polymer Processing Research Centre at Queens University. This centre included the Research Group on rotational moulding of plastics, which he also established. From 1999 to 2001 he was Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
From 2001 to 2004 he was Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at Queens University Belfast. From January 2005 until December 2014 he was Vice Chancellor of the University of Waikato in New Zealand. He has had substantial and very successful experience in the RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) in the UK, having led his own School from Grade 3 in the 1992 RAE to the top Grade of 5* in 1996. He was a member of the 2001 RAE Panel for assessing Mechanical Engineering in all universities in the UK, and his School achieved a grade of 5* once again in 2001. He has very strong academic and research credentials.
He has published 8 books and over 300 papers and has been a member of numerous government panels and research grant committees in the UK. His particular expertise is associated with the rotational moulding of plastics. He is widely recognised as a world leader in this field and has given keynote lectures, courses and seminars on this subject all over the world.
Crawford has a BSc, PhD and a DSc from Queen’s University. He is a Fellow of a number of professional organisations and in 1998 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 2005 he was elected as a Fellow of the Society of Plastics Engineers. Only 227 Fellows have been elected worldwide to this Society since it was established in 1946. In the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours Crawford was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to tertiary education.
Married with two sons and one daughter, Crawford is a UK national and is also a permanent resident of New Zealand.
On Thursday, June 23, 2016 Roy Crawford died.